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Labour sets new exodus record

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

19 September 2008

Labour sets new exodus record

The number of people leaving for Australia and elsewhere continues to set records and New Zealand cannot continue to afford to lose so many people and their skills, says National Party Deputy Leader and Finance spokesman Bill English.

Statistics New Zealand's latest figures show that for the year ended August 81,768 people left New Zealand to live somewhere else, the highest loss for a year ended August since 1979 and the second highest loss ever.

"This is a huge drain on an economy already in recession.

"No country can afford ongoing migration losses of this size relative to its total workforce. The problems are showing up most visibly in the professional workforce"

"In 2006, Monash University reported that 32% of New Zealand's native born, tertiary-trained population now lives in other countries. The figure for Australia is just 3%.

"The rate at which we are losing people to Australia is alarming, with 46,630 people leaving in the 12 months to August. This is the highest-ever loss for a year ended August since records began.

"Labour tries to cover up its failure to keep people in New Zealand by pointing to net migration figures. However, the net loss to Australia in the year ended August was 33,280. This is the highest-ever net loss for a year ended August to Australia, and represents a staggering 28% increase from the previous year.

"The only way that we can stem this outflow in a global economy, is to start working to reduce the real wage gap between here and other countries, particularly Australia in the first instance. That means reductions in personal taxation, improved productivity in the government sector firstly, and then in the private sector via reducing the infrastructure deficit.

"New Zealand needs a fresh start from a new government that is focused on these important economic issues. The loss of so many people overseas is the visible outcome of a poorly managed economy. Labour has had nine years to do something about it, and they have failed.

"Instead, of managing the economy, Labour is engaged in increasingly desperate attacks on National that are doing nothing to address the real issues facing this country."

ENDS

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